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Should Auld Acquaintance be Forgot? I Think Not!

In the midst of this holiday season, it has become a ritual for many people to reflect on the past year, and begin to plan for the new one to come.  Today’s NLS Music Notes blog reviews highlights of this past year for the NLS Music Section and previews coming attractions.

We are up to the letter ‘N’ in the American Composers and Musicians from A to Z series. Just over half way there, so look for more informational blogs and learn with us as we present them. Some past blogs include stories about, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Charles Ives, Scott Joplin and Jerome Kern.

The monthly update of the latest BARD additions you can download continues to grow. With arrival of more staff, look for our digitization output to increase. At least 20% of the braille music collection has been digitized, and we recently began an initiative to digitize the Mozart piano concertos and sonatas.

The NLS Music Section had the pleasure of presenting José André Montaño and his trio in concert this year. Presented in the Coolidge Auditorium on a rainy November evening, José charmed the audience and laid down some very cool jazz and Latin music. In case you missed it live, you can still watch it here.

The score of the Broadway blockbuster Hamilton (BRM 36785) made its debut in braille music format in July of this year, curiously close to the 4th of July. Coincidence?  I wonder.  We also added Bohemian Rhapsody (BRM36784) for all our champion patrons, 20 Greatest Hits by Aretha Franklin (BRM36681) and continue to have the monumental organ works of J.S. Bach transcribed, one volume at a time. We also now have The Goldberg Variations (BRM36802) in braille music format. Our large-print collection now has the complete set of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (LPM00869) and new transcriptions of Beethoven (LPM00871), Czerny (LPM00868) and Satie (LPM00870). In the audio format, we have continued adding Smithsonian Folkways Collection titles, and added a new title, Lessons for the Beginning Organist (DBM03977) from the American Guild of Organists. We have added more Bill Brown audio instructional titles as well of the Piano by Ear series, such as Crying in the Chapel (DBM03929), Desperado (DBM03931) and My Girl (DBM03939).

There are plans for a transcription of the complete French Suites by J.S. Bach (all in bar-over-bar format), and the Praise and Worship Fake Book and the Piano Adventures series with the complete Primer Level, 2nd edition will be added as well.

As you can see, we have been scanning, digitizing, uploading, audio bookmaking, writing and filling patron requests.  But….you ain’t seen nothing yet!  Happy New Year!!

Currier & Ives lithograph hand colored print of ‘Happy New Year’

American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: M (Part 1—MacDowell, Edward)

This guest post by music librarian Brian McCurdy continues our American Composers from A to Z series. This time we are looking at the life and work of composer Edward MacDowell.

Happy Fourth!

On this Independence Day, I thought it would be nice to review some of the patriotic tunes we have in the NLS Music collection. In previous posts I’ve discussed the music of George M. Cohan and John Philip Sousa. We also have some posts about the Ohio State School for the Blind’s marching band by […]

Piano Lessons Made-to-Measure: An Interview with Dr. Leslie Jones About Teaching Visually Impaired Students, Part 2

This is the second part of my interview with Dr. Leslie Jones. DK: What tools and skills should these students be taught in order for them to be successful independent learners? LJ: Learning the language of any musician: music theory—pitch, rhythm, keys; using the measure numbers as points of reference in rehearsals, lessons and practice. […]

Piano Lessons Made-to-Measure: An Interview with Dr. Leslie Jones About Teaching Visually Impaired Students, Part 1

This blog is intended as a resource for sighted music teachers who may feel intimidated by the thought of accepting blind or visually impaired (VI) students into their studio due to lack of knowledge of how to best serve these students. Recently, I reached out to Dr. Leslie Jones, who has been serving as the […]

A Composer for All Seasons: Benjamin Britten

This blog is a brief look at some of Benjamin Britten’s compositions and relevant materials from the NLS Music Section.